8 Health and Medical Organizations Support State Authority to Set Cleaner Car Standards to Protect Public Health

Date: Sep 19 2019

Media Contacts:
Arnice Cottom, APHA, 202-777-3913
Michelle Blundell, American Lung Association, 202-478-6176
Allison MacMunn, American Lung Association, 312-801-7628

Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2019 – In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to revoke California’s waiver to set more protective vehicle standards, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decision to preempt the authority of states to follow more protective cleaner cars standards, the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Thoracic Society, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Health Care Without Harm, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the Allergy & Asthma Network, and Climate for Health issued the following statement:

“The administration is ignoring the Clean Air Act and the rights of states to protect their residents from motor vehicle pollution. Rolling back states’ authority to set stronger pollution limits not only endangers Californians, but also the residents of 13 other states and the District of Columbia, which have adopted California’s standards and driven nationwide progress in reducing dangerous tailpipe pollution. This pollution contributes to climate change and harms the health of Americans.

“States need to use every possible tool to address climate change. From degraded air quality due to higher temperatures to increased risk from wildfires and other extreme weather events, climate change poses serious threats to all Americans, especially to the most vulnerable, including children, older adults, low-income communities and those living with chronic diseases. The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Cleaner vehicles and electric vehicles are key to fighting the devastating threats to the nation’s health that climate change brings.

“The administration’s announcement jeopardizes extremely popular, commonsense cleaner cars standards – and endangers Americans’ health. Seventy-four percent of voters support the maintaining the current fuel efficiency standards, with majorities among Democrats and Republicans.

“Our organizations are committed to protecting public health from climate change and to supporting states’ rights to protect their residents. Revoking states’ authority is a dramatic step in the wrong direction.”


APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public's health. Visit us at www.apha.org.

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.